Author Topic: Planning Family Trip for next summer need suggestions  (Read 3736 times)

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Offline mmoser

Re: Planning Family Trip for next summer need suggestions
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2018, 04:43:45 pm »
I just got back from riding the Mickelson Trail with a 14 and 11-year-old, and a 9 month-old.  It was beautiful riding on dedicated bike path - a little hillier and rougher surfaces than the GAP. But the surfaces were fine with wide touring tires, and better than the C&O.  If you rode out and back with stops for places like Crazy Horse and Custer State Park, that could be a week+ long ride.  (And eliminate the need for a shuttle.) The campground/lodging options are a bit far apart for some kids, but if your group can cover 40 mi./day, you should be fine. (Here is a list of services for towns on route: http://www.bikemickelson.com/towns.aspx).
We had a SAG vehicle that helped carry riders to off-route campgrounds/lodging when needed.

I’ve also ridden the Idaho Trail of the Coeur D'Alenes (on Adventure Cycling’s Family Fun guided tour), and the GAP with nephews and niece.  Both great options.

I haven’t ridden these yet, but I’m also interested in checking out the Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga Trails in Georgia/Alabama. Being so far south, these would be better for a spring or fall trip.
http://www.silvercometga.com/
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 04:48:02 pm by mmoser »
**********************
Melissa Moser
GIS Specialist/Cartographer
Routes & Mapping Dept.
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
www.adventurecycling.org

Offline John Nettles

Re: Planning Family Trip for next summer need suggestions
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2018, 05:10:03 pm »
I have ridden over the years most of the suggested routes.  Couple of thoughts.
The Katy in June (especially after mid-June) gets quite muggy.  However it is an easy ride and the bigger kids could go ride on their own as it is hard to get lost on a rail trail assuming you stay on the trail so they may be less annoyed at having to still around the little ones.  There are very little "street detours" on the Katy.  Depending on your daily mileage, you may need to do a combination of camping and B&B/Hotel if that matters.  While you get to see the river peridically, very little access to it.
Mickelson is nice and scenic but the trail surface can get a bit "gravely" at times.  Also, it is relatively short compared to some of the others.  You did not say how long you wanted the trip to be.  The area off the trail has fantastic scenery but probably not great for a young teen to ride in.  If you are driving, you could do the trail then hang around the area and see it by car.
There are tons of trails in MN & WI (some road detours required but doable).  Weather is buggy but pleasant nights. 

The trails from Cincinnati to Cleveland (or vice versa) is nice but a little "urban" for my taste if I were bring young teens.  Weather is good.  If you started near Pittsburgh, you could work your way west on trail and some low traffic roads so you could go from Pittsburgh to Cleveland also.

If you are looking at something less hot, think MN, WI, OH, and even Washington/Idaho.  We rode a lot of the trails from south of Spokane to Trail of the Hiawatha (great trail!) in Idaho and it was fantastic but as you near the Trail of the Hiawatha, the "trail" is rough in places.  You would need a car to drive the "non-trail" segements due to the youngsters, otherwise the riding is fine.  Weather was pleasant the the trail was mostly paved.  There are some "street detours" but the drivers there are pretty good.  Very scenic, good weather, but a tad expensive in places like Coeur d'Alene.  Spokane and Coeur d'Alene are nice for adults too.
The Cowboy Trial in Nebraska is too remote and the trail surface sucks at times so you end up riding on US-20 so I would avoid that one.  I rode the Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga Trail in May and while it was nice it didn't have much to interest the kids.

Being from Oklahoma (next to Missouri), I would probably head north due to the time of year.  June can be hit or miss and if you get rainy weather (major storms in late may through mid-June) followed by temps in mid-90s, the humidity just sucks.  Then everyone is complaining.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 05:11:59 pm by John Nettles »

Offline Margaret

Re: Planning Family Trip for next summer need suggestions
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2018, 07:15:20 am »
More great advice- we plan to go for a week or 9 days ( if need be and including travel to the site)  I amleaning towards the Katy as it is so well established-but I am also now looking at the Erie Canal bike trail ( through New York State) because of the weather factor-  I know that June in Missouri could be really hot.  We will need to camp most nights but can do 2-3 hotels/b&b  the issue is that our group is kind of big so it sometimes works better to camp than take over a small b&b. We will have a van for a sag wagon that we usually take turns driving.  On the Mickelson I was concerned about the lack of campsites- which could be an issue on the Erie Canal Trail too-  I need to check it out further.

Thanks for your input!

Margaret

Offline Margaret

Re: Planning Family Trip for next summer need suggestions
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2018, 12:17:56 pm »
Thanks for the input- I have been researching the Erie Canal Bike Trail and I am finding it frustrating- there is no website that seems to list mileage between towns- or camping sites- I have randomly found camping through the NY state park sites and the Canalway Heritage site- but gees- compared the Katy site the site which has the Erie Bike Trail map is so lame - it only offers limited information on camping and none on servicesin the towns-  I am wondering if there is somewhere to find this information?

Thanks,

Margaret

Offline edunnfroebig

Re: Planning Family Trip for next summer need suggestions
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2018, 12:29:14 pm »
Margaret,
Did you see this interactive map? https://www.ptny.org/bike-canal/map/
It seems like a good resource.

I have never bicycled the Erie Canal Bike Trail, but I grew up in the area and would recommend taking some time to stop at Erie Canal Village in Rome, NY.

Eva

Offline Margaret

Re: Planning Family Trip for next summer need suggestions
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2018, 12:55:00 pm »
Thank you Eva- I did- In fact I have been using that map- but the measuring tool there is not very good ( at least on my computer) so I am finding it difficult to get a read on mileage.  I may see if the measure tool might work better at the library?  Thank you.

Margaret

Offline edunnfroebig

Re: Planning Family Trip for next summer need suggestions
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2018, 12:59:52 pm »
Yes, I agree that their planning resources are not as good as the Katy Trail and some other trails. They don't seem to have good resources for people planning multi-day trips. Rather, the focus seems to be out and back day rides. They would probably appreciate that feedback!
Eva

Offline John Nettles

Re: Planning Family Trip for next summer need suggestions
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2018, 01:24:17 pm »
I "think" there is a book about riding the Eric Canal.  Perhaps that can help.  Best, John